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Asbestos in the home

Asbestos was used extensively as a building material in the UK from the 1950s through to the mid 1980s.

Although some of this material has been removed over the years, it is estimated that over half-a-million non-domestic premises currently have some form of asbestos in them.

However, as long as asbestos is in good condition and is not going to be disturbed or damaged, there is no risk. It becomes dangerous if it is disturbed or damaged as fibres can be released into the air and inhaled – this is potentially lethal.

Asbestos may be present in your home in the following forms:

  • roof and wall claddings
  • pipe lagging
  • flat roof decking tiles
  • flue-pipes, gutters, rainwater down pipes and airbricks
  • window boxes
  • cold water cisterns
  • roof slates
  • roof linings
  • thermoplastics and vinyl floor tiles
  • roofing felts
  • textured paints
  • insulation of warm-air heating systems
  • storage heaters
  • catalytic heaters
  • internal partitions, wall boards, airing-cupboard linings and shelving, duct and pipe covers (LPG) portable heaters
  • ironing boards
  • central heating system insulation
  • filler ropes surrounding oven doors and solid fuel fires

For more information on asbestos, and advice about removing it, please see our asbestos information sheet.

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